From Saturn to Santa

Obscuriosities

Celebrations around mid-winter and the winter solstice go far back in history, being marked in many ways, longer than the 2,000 since the stated birth of Christ.

In the year 340AD, Pope Julius I fixed the date of Jesus’s birthday to 25 December, with at least three other dates being used to mark the date prior to this, including 29 March, 6 June, and a date in January.

There are, of course, several traditions dating back to before this time, but one such pre-Christian tradition is that of the Roman festival of Saturnalia. And since the winter solstice on 21 December 2020 (the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere) marks the Great Conjunction of the planet Saturn with Jupiter (the closest the two planets have been at night since the 13th Century and being to referred to as „The Christmas Star“), an appropriate topic perhaps…

Saturnalia

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